More than a scoreboard; New softball field to be dedicated June 15
It started out as a project to get a scoreboard, but it mushroomed into much more.
The field, which is in memory of donor Lyle Lawrence, will ceremoniously be christened with a ceremony, followed by free lunch and two fastpitch softball games.
The new diamond has hosted many games already, but with the project nearing its official completion, a party was in order.
“We’ve already gotten a lot of use out of it and heard a lot of positive feedback,” said Darin Peterson, who along with Kevin Gall were among the driving forces behind the project, which took about a year and a half from beginning to end.
The June 15 ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. with the ribbon-cutting followed by a free hot dog and chip lunch, but that’s not all. At about 1:45 p.m. Apex Physical Therapy of Fargo at the West Fargo Knights men’s fastpitch softball teams will play two seven-inning games. The APEX team features a handful of Jamestown natives, including Bryan Erstad, Jared Purdy and Joe Vannett amongst others.
The event is free and open to everyone.
“It’s been a very successful deal when you look at it,” Peterson said. “It made an old field new, and it turned out pretty nice.”
The project started simply with the hope of getting a scoreboard, but grew signficantly.
“It led to community involvement and a lot of donors that were willing to step up to the plate — literally,” Peterson said. “The financial commitment from donors, and a lot of time and talent from a lot of people made it happen.”
The construction of the field has coincided, not coincidentally, with the growth of youth softball in Jamestown. Numbers have grown from 15-20 to 73 this summer in just a couple of years. The program is called the Frontier League in association with Frontier Village, which can be seen panoramically from the new field.
“That’s Kevin (Gall) just spending all day down at the field spraying Roundup so the grass would grow and coming up with all these ideas,” Peterson said of the resourceful head coach of the Jimmie softball team. “I call him MacGyver because he can fix anything with duct tape.”
Nearly everything is in place with the completion of the press box about the only outlier, so it’s time to cut a ribbon, which Peterson has ordered for the occasion.
“Everybody is welcome,” he said of the June 16 ceremony. “It shows what can get done when people come together … and get some help along the way.”
Sun sports writer Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org